Today, Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Vietnam Food Administration have agreed to an African swine fever (ASF) zoning arrangement to allow for the safe trade of swine products from disease-free zones in Canada in the event of an ASF outbreak.

ASF is a viral disease that does not infect humans, but poses a significant risk to the health of Canadian swine herds, pork industry and the Canadian economy.

Following their evaluation of CFIA’s zoning proposal, Vietnam has agreed that restrictions on the import of Canadian pork and pork products, valued at $59 million per year, would be limited to the Primary Control Zone(s) in the event of an ASF outbreak in Canada. This arrangement would serve to minimize trade impacts to the Canadian swine sector while protecting the swine populations in both countries.

Zoning is an internationally-recognized tool used to help manage diseases and facilitate international trade. If a case of ASF is identified, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. The area within these geographic boundaries form the Primary Control Zone(s) established in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines. The areas outside of these Primary Control Zone(s) are considered disease-free zones.

Zoning arrangements have been established with the United States, the European Union, Singapore and now Vietnam, and they are being pursued with other trading partners. The arrangement with Vietnam is another positive step in Canada’s prevention and preparedness efforts related to ASF.

Quick facts

  • Canada’s pork industry contributes over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs and generates approximately $28 billion to the Canadian economy.
  • In 2020, Canada exported 1.49 million tonnes of pork to 95 countries at a total value of over $5 billion. Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents 14% of the world’s pork trade. Canada exports nearly 70% of its live hog and pork production.
  • The value of pork exports to Vietnam in 2020 was $59.2 million.
  • ASF cannot be transmitted to humans and it does not pose a risk to food safety. Canadian pork is safe to eat.
  • ASF is a contagious, fatal swine disease that spreads to pigs through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs, pork and pork by-products.
  • There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF.

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